Houston Dynamo FC

Houston Dynamo FC sign Nigerian Youth International Ibrahim Aliyu using MLS’s U22 Initiative


Houston Dynamo FC signed attacker Ibrahim Aliyu on a full transfer from NK Lokomotiva Zagreb in Croatia, both clubs announced today.

The 21-year-old Nigerian youth international is signed to a three-year contract through 2025 with club options in 2026 and 2027. Aliyu joins the Dynamo as a part of Major League Soccer’s U-22 Initiative and will occupy an international roster spot pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa. 

"Ibrahim is a talented young player who provides another dynamic option to our attack,” Dynamo general manager Pat Onstad said. “He is a Nigerian youth international capable of playing as a wide attacking midfielder or striker, and his analytic profile provided by SRC FTBL stood out when reviewing options to bolster our offense. We welcome Ibrahim to our city and look forward to seeing him on the field at Shell Energy Stadium this season.”

Aliyu joins the Dynamo after nearly three years with Lokomotiva in the Croatian first division and he made his debut as an 18-year-old in a draw with NK Istra 1961 on Oct. 2, 2020. Two games later, the forward scored the equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Dinamo Zagreb, the first of three goals he would contribute to that year. Aliyu finished with 17 goals and seven assists in 84 appearances across all competitions for the club. 

Aliyu is a product of Oasis FC and Footwork FC from his native Nigeria. He would depart for Europe in Feb. 2020 after he earned a spot in the U-19 Lokomotiva squad for the 2019/2020 season. 

The Kano, Nigeria native represented the Super Eagles at the U-20 level and most recently at the 2019 U-20 AFCON Africa Cup of Nations. Nigeria reached the semifinals of the tournament, forcing a penalty kick shootout with the eventual winners of the tournament, Mali.

Aliyu is the 16th player added to the Dynamo first team during the latest transfer window. 

“We have had an incredibly busy offseason, making a number of additions to our roster and staff, and the addition of a versatile YPS attacker was the last remaining item on our checklist for this transfer window,” continued Onstad. “We are grateful to Ted Segal for continuing to provide us with resources to build a competitive team as we aim to return to the MLS playoffs and make the city of Houston proud.” 

Under new head coach Ben Olsen, Houston Dynamo FC currently sit fourth in the Western Conference on points per game.